The Women of NetMotion series continues this week with Kirra Rice, Channel lead overseeing the management and development of the US carrier sales team. Having worked at Verizon, MobileIron and Wandera before joining the team at NetMotion, Kirra is the go-to consultant, with more than 11 years of cross-channel experience specializing in strategy and implementation for the mobile technology space.
NetMotion’s channel team works incredibly hard to forge partnerships that bring value to customers around the world, and Kirra is no different. She takes particular pride in understanding customers’ needs and bringing their solutions and goals to life. At NetMotion, she enjoys developing an effective experience through solution knowledge management, training events, sales incentive programs and most importantly qualifying leads and driving sales. Last but not least, Kirra describes the satisfaction she gets from leading “Rockstar US Carrier CAM team,” while helping them to develop a skill set and book of business and close some wins.
And she should know. As one of CRN’s 2019 Women of the Channel Award recipients, Kirra knows a thing or two about the channel.
Kirra’s channel role at NetMotion is a natural fit. She enjoys meeting people, building relationships, helping them be successful and conquering their challenges. Before taking the leap into a channel role, she was a B2B sales training manager. Apart from being a rewarding experience, Kirra says that it taught her to step out of her comfort zone.
Fast forward to 2017’s AT&T Summit, where Kirra met an “awesome group of gents” that she kept running into. It turns out that these gents were none other than NetMotion’s CEO, Christopher Kenessey; CRO, Dan Pagel; Senior Director of Worldwide Operations & Channel Sales, Jason Turner; Enterprise Sales Manager, Dane Ryan; and Solutions Architect, Chris Edgemon.
Dan and Jason connected with Kirra via LinkedIn, and shortly after they were having conversations about how to partner with Verizon. After speaking with them, Kirra says that she could see what an advantage NetMotion had over other companies in the market, and she was amazed at everything NetMotion did beyond just being a VPN. When Jason offered her a position with NetMotion, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I’m fortunate to be surrounded by wonderfully amazing sales teams, hardworking, creative marketing folks, ever working product teams, a superb HR team, an extremely supportive and knowledgeable leadership team, and the entire NetMotion organization as a whole.”
A new way of doing business
The restrictions brought about by Covid-19 have had an impact on NetMotion’s channel team, just as they have for most people around the world. As a business that has traditionally been built on face-to-face relationships, not being able to travel, attend conference booths, host lunch and learns, or participate in area-wide meetings has really impacted everyone’s roles and how they carve their paths forward.
Although she says that she has adjusted, Kirra also looks forward to getting back to being a road warrior. Despite the changes, she praises the team switching things up and using virtual tools to increase mindshare, whether it be through Kahoot quizzes, appreciation packages, wine webinars or partnering with other companies in the ecosystem, they continue to drive virtual attendance and participation.
“I’ve focused on not using the pandemic as an excuse, but as a learning experience. That has truly helped me look at things from an entirely different perspective.”
With so much of channel’s activity having to move to virtual by necessity, the way business is done has also fundamentally changed. Fortunately, technology allows NetMotion to continue working with partners fairly easily. Kirra adds that being a company focused so heavily on mobility and secure remote access, NetMotion has been in a position to prove the power that is built into the platform.
Today, having to use more video meetings instead of in-person meetings has pushed the team to be more creative and think of non-traditional ways to increase engagement with partners.
On a personal level, the pandemic has made Kirra use her free time in different ways. She says that overall, this has been a great learning experience. Having realized that she was in danger of becoming a Netflix couch potato, she decided to get out and do things like bike around her neighborhood. In the evenings after work, she often heads to a trail, or takes her “Frenchie” for walks. She also finds that cooking and various crafts have become a form of therapy.
For Kirra, the unexpected upside of our new way of work has been the opportunity it’s given her to strengthen personal relationships. Before the pandemic, she would be away for a week at a time and only at home on the weekends, juggling events, and just being busy. Being forced to slow down has allowed her to grow closer to her family and friends.
“They always say that you find out who your friends are in tough times. After living through this time, I can vouch that it holds true. It’s made me value my relationships more now than ever.”